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Psychology is the science that studies human behavior and mental processes. Psychologists use theory and research to observe, describe, explain, and predict any given behavior or behavioral patterns that take place in various settings such as home, work, and school. Therefore, because of travel, migration, technological advance, and globalization, the world is our stage. No other field challenges the individual's analytic abilities as directly as psychology, because it requires human knowledge and training to understand another human's behavior.

At Alverno College, you develop an understanding of both research and practitioner approaches to the field, as well as acquiring first-hand experience that helps you develop the kind of understanding and empathy that characterizes the competent professional in psychology.

If you major in psychology, you can choose courses and projects that prepare you for careers in a variety of areas, notably as a researcher or a practitioner. The specific specialization in Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) certification, offered within the psychology major, gives you entry to various areas as well. Alverno psychology graduates have become leaders in:

  • Governmental and nongovernmental human services organizations
  • Nonprofit community advocacy
  • Business and industry settings

Graduate school in psychology, both in clinical and research specializations

Other professional graduate training, such as law, education, and social work

Whatever your career plans, you will find that a major or support in psychology exposes you to a broad base of psychological theory and methodological issues in research and clinical practice.


The Alverno Psychology Department has organized its courses and experiences to develop student mastery of the concepts, theory, and methods of psychology. Beginning students learn how to observe behavior scientifically and understand basic concepts and theories in psychology. Intermediate students are introduced to practicum experiences in client care and research design. These require an understanding of various psychological theories and frameworks in which to base decision making. Advanced students learn to integrate theory and experience in sophisticated attempts to understand the complexity of human behavior.

Psychological perspectives, such as developmental, cognitive, physiological, environmental, cross-cultural, and psychopathological, serve as foundations for individual courses. These courses become analytical tools in the study of complex psychological issues. You learn to apply both scientific methodology and psychological theory in situations encountered in actual professional settings.

Depending upon your choice of career emphasis, you choose either PDC or PSY as your emphasis track within psychology.

Career Options

It is true that to be a licensed psychologist or therapist, graduate education is necessary. However, there are many rewarding and interesting career options for those earning baccalaureate degrees, too.

Many psychology majors enter sales or human resource careers in which their understanding of behavior, motivation, and personality theories helps them to analyze concerns and determine appropriate strategies and solutions. Careers in these areas include public relations analyst, sales person, job development specialist, executive recruiter, and employment counselor.